Scammers Trying to Cash In….Renters Beware!

Sacramento Home Sellers, this will effect you more than buyers. And any renters that might be traveling these pages, should really dial in.

I have, over the past few months, fielded phone calls from folks wanting to know ‘how much my listing on yadda yadda street is renting for?’ Well, sorry, but that home is for sale not for rent. But, the caller would go onto explain how they just spoke to someone–the property manager, or the owner–and was told the home was for rent and had seen it advertised as such on Craigslist.

This is a scam. And the scam is growing.

This week, I was helping a renter who had reached me via my profile on Trulia. She had run into a similar situation, found a home for rent, had spoken to the owner about renting it. I was able to find the home as a Short Sale listing, and gave her the correct owner’s name from the public tax records. Turns out the correct owners name did not match the name of whom she was dealing with.

What’s the scam? Fake owner or fake property manager takes your application and your [large] deposit monies, and poof, like David Copperfield, disappears.  The potential renter is out of luck, and out of the money that was handed over, never gets the key to the house, and as you can tell–never moves into the house.

I can imagine the current owners of any Sacramento house for sale are pretty surprised when the scammed renter shows up, an army of friends in tow,  and ready to unload the moving truck!

There may not be a way to prevent these crooks from running their scams, but a Sacramento home seller and a potential home renter can protect their assets. Have your Realtor put a sign in the window or a sign rider on your lawn sign–“This home is for sale, not for rent”. At least if the prospective renter drives by to see the property–and many will–there will be some frustration avoided, and no pulling up onto your driveway, ready to move in!

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